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Taking Medicines while breastfeeding

 

DRUGS FOUND IN MEDICINES TO TREAT COUGHS AND COLDS.

Many of the medicines available to treat colds or flu contain more than one drug to treat the variety of symptoms. It is important when buying a medicine to explain what symptoms you have, and remind them that you are breastfeeding, so an appropriate medicine can be recommended. The following drugs are often found in medicines used to treat symptoms of cough and cold. Many of these medicines may also contain Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. Although safe to use they are often found in other medicines so be careful you are not taking more than you should.

Often symptoms of Coughs and colds can be treated with simple medicines or treatments not containing drugs. For example the main symptoms of temperature and discomfort can be treated with Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. A runny nose can often be treated with hot water with or without an additive inhalant such as Menthol crystals. Sore throats can be relieved by a small amount of Honey and Lemon mixed in with some hot water and sipped. Sometimes you will need to use medicines containing drugs to help with the more persistent or annoying symptoms. The following are some of the drugs that maybe found in the medicines that are available for use in coughs and colds.

DIPHENHYDRAMINE AND PROMETHAZINE.
These are antihistamines that are used in some cough and cold medicines to dry up a runny nose and to help sleep. There is a risk that this medicine may make you and your child drowsy if you use this while breast feeding. This may lead to reduced feeding and a decreased weight increase.

GUAIFENESIN.
This medicine is found in cough preparations to loosen up and clear the chest. It appears to be safe to use while breast feeding.

INHALANTS.
If you do have a blocked nose the safest medicines to use are inhalations such as Menthol crystals, Olbas oil or Vicks vapour rub. They may have a cooling affect on the nose and will also help dry up the nose. Please be aware of the risk of hot water spilling and scalding your child if the water is placed to close to your child and knocked over. Place your baby at a safe distance to prevent this happening.

PHENYLEPHRINE.
This is found in medicines that help to relieve a blocked nose. Also called a decongestant this medicine may cause agitation or sleeplessness to you and your child if you use this medicine while breast feeding. It is best avoided if possible.

PHOLCODINE AND DEXTROMETHORPHIN.
These are found in dry cough medicines and appear to be safe to use. Simple linctus or Honey and Lemon medicines are also effective and should be tried first. A small teaspoonful amount of hot water added to the Honey and Lemon or the Linctus can be tried to help soothe a sore throat.

PSEUDOEPHREDINE.
This drug is called a decongestant and is found in some preparations to treat a stuffy nose. It is best avoided as it may lead to decreased milk production which may lead to decreased weight gain by your baby.

If you are using a medicine and notice a change in your child’s behaviour and suspect it maybe due to a medicine you should speak with your Pharmacist or Doctor for advice.

 

 

 

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